Posted: February 14, 2009 in Family, photography

More Photoshop fun! Here’s another angle of Calvin and Devlin, original image:


Here, I used the “burn” tool to slightly darken the bright patch on Calvin’s head (short hair + gel = scalp flash!). And then the “dodge” tool when I used to much “burn” and made him look like he’d been sporting a wicked sunburn. I took some of the glare off of Devlin’s head and hand, too. Then I did the despeckle/noise reduction that so improves these old grainy pictures. For the noise reduction settings, I set strength fully pegged at 10, preserve details at 5, reduce color noise at 30, and sharpen details at 20 (Photoshop CS3, for those of you playing along at home). Then, because doing that somewhat blurs the picture, I use PW’s “slight sharpen” to bring it back into focus. Then I ran PW’s “Lovely and Etherial” action to soften the overall effect, in keeping with the little moment that was captured between grandpa and grandson. And here’s what we get:


Now, this is a photo of Marie at her high school graduation, back in May of ’06 (I believe). Original image:


First off, I used the EVER so handy “red eye tool” to remove the red eye effect. I despeckled and reduced the noise, then ran TRA’s “Boutwell Magic Glasses” to sharpen things up. I used the dodge tool to slightly lighten her hair in the picture, then messed with the contrast a bit to achieve the level of light I wanted to the image. I used PW’s “Boost” action to make the gold of her robes pop. Finally, in order to get rid of the distracting stuff happening around Marie, I did a “Quick Edge Burn”. Voila:


I guess the moral of this story is with some judicious playing around and experimenting, plus some handy dandy free actions, you can make okay shots better, and salvage poor images into something you’d want to keep.

  1. angelcel says:

    Great that you found all these and you’ve done a nice job tweaking them because you’ve kept it very subtle. As you probably know, I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to photography so I prefer PS to be used in exactly the way you have and not to, for instance, make skies a gobsmackingly unnatural vermillion! (As seems so very popular now). Well done there Miss L. 🙂

  2. sherry says:

    We use a lot of the same actions. I love PW for making all of hers free because other than the three samples, TRA is bloody expensive!

  3. Laura says:

    Jayne – I agree with you, there! Some folks tweak things so much that it ceases to be a photo and just becomes an “image”.

    Sherry – I’ve gotten a couple of free downloads off of TRA, they offer new ones periodically. One day I’m going to spoil myself foolish and get a set of actions!

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